Is Community the Key to Recovery?

Is Community the Key to Recovery?

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Have you ever felt embarrassed about your use of alcohol or drugs? Do you downplay the amount you drink or the ways that drugs negatively impact your life? Many people experience such shame. 

Shame can lead to secrecy, which ruptures our most important relationships. However, addiction is worthy of treatment, like asthma, heart disease, or any other illness. Would you feel embarrassed to have asthma? Or would you speak up for your health needs and seek care for the good of yourself and your family?

How Shame Can Keep Us From Recovery

Our relationship to drug use and feelings of shame regarding substance use disorder (SUD) is often markedly different from how we relate to our experience of other illnesses. The myth that addiction is our fault or something to be hidden increases the shame.

What if we could seek help and treatment for drug and alcohol use without shame, just as we would call the doctor for help with heart disease or any illness? People with addiction should not be blamed for their disease. Instead, they should be supported with treatment and care. Addiction treatment helps us establish pride in our lives and proactively take responsibility for our actions.

Knowing that shame and the way that it keeps us away from the very community and providers who can help us is an essential step in recovery. By understanding shame, we can name it, tame it, and move forward to find the life we want.

Shame Breeds Isolation

Unfortunately, feelings of shame can keep people from seeking help to address their drug use and drinking. Even when substance abuse has negatively impacted our health, relationships, work, goals, and quality of life, we sometimes stay silent and try to handle it on our own. 

As life becomes more challenging to handle, relapse and return to addiction breed further isolation and the fear that change is impossible. This pattern can become cyclical and prevent people from seeking treatment due to feeling defeated or hopeless. 

Support Is Key

Statistics paint a picture of the discrepancy between treatment for addiction versus treatment for other illnesses. For example, while 85% of people in the U.S. receive treatment for their diabetes, only 10% of Americans with SUDs receive the treatment they need. 

Whether they need alcohol rehab, methadone medication, group therapy, or more, reaching out for support is one way that people can break the cycle of isolation and defeat shame. People deserve compassionate care to break free from addiction. 

Community and Fellowship

The community found in fellowship is one key to recovery. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) notes that community is one of the four major dimensions of recovery. 

SAMHSA defines community as “[H]aving relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love and hope.” Quality treatment centers incorporate the value of community relationships and hope into daily treatment. By doing this, they ensure treatment is client-centered, engaging, and effective.

Sobriety and Understanding Found in Fellowship

Once we understand that the path to freedom from drugs and alcohol need not be solitary, we gain confidence and optimism. A community that we hid from may be the key to our recovery. 

We need not feel embarrassed; many have walked this path before us, and together, we can find sobriety. Finding quality treatment that is both individualized and community-based is an exciting step toward understanding, health, and a life of your own choosing.

Enjoyment of life can become muted and diminished when drugs, alcohol, and isolation take control. However, there are ways to escape the grips of addiction filled with comfort, safety, community, and even luxury. Putting yourself first and gifting yourself with a beautiful treatment experience is an investment in yourself and your loved ones. 

In addition, the connections and community found in residential or outpatient treatment can last a lifetime. After receiving treatment, residential centers that provide ongoing alumni support mean that a clean and sober life of enjoyment and fellowship extends into the future.

You Are Not Alone: We Will Walk With You

Healthy social support networks can make the difference between relapse and lasting sobriety. At a quality treatment center such as First Steps Recovery, social support includes guidance from trained and caring specialists, group counseling, outdoor recreation opportunities, and an alumni program for robust extended support. 

Alcoholics Anonymous, residential programs, group therapy, and many other models have shown that there is strength found in fellowship. When we learn from and lean on each other, the risk of relapse diminishes. We learn new ways of experiencing life free of addiction. Together we truly can do what we could not do alone.

Finding Community in Treatment and Recovery

Finding a community to help you reach your goals is one key to success. It is a crucial key and indispensable to moving forward with more joy. 

As social creatures, we thrive on support and engagement with others. Whether you are more extroverted and thrive in large community gatherings or introverted and appreciate one-on-one time with a trusted listener, a community of your choice makes a world of difference. 

Take a moment to reflect on the support that will make a difference for you. Is it a circle of peers rooting you on? Clinicians whose guidance is evidence-based? New healthy lifestyle habits surrounded by friends who understand your struggle? No matter the form, recovery with a community to support you is more fun and effective. You are not alone. All you need to do is make the call.

Addiction can make us feel that we don’t deserve help, but we do. A community of support, including compassionate, trained professionals to walk with you every step of the way, can help you on the path of freedom from whatever substances are making your life unmanageable. At First Steps Recovery, we are committed to your safety, comfort, and success. Our approach to treatment utilizes evidence-based and holistic treatment options which allow us to foster a sense of community. Our facility can personalize treatment to fit your needs and help you find the tools to live the life you deserve. At First Steps Recovery, we believe in community-based recovery. Our team members are ready to help you walk the path to freedom and support you every step of the way. Call First Steps Recovery at (844) 489-0836 today to learn more about how we can help you.

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